A scale model of a B-17 Flying Fortress — very detailed, with gun turrets and all — sits on my desk. It reminds me of the country we once had and what we’ve lost.
The B-17 was the most widely used strategic bomber in World War II. The Army Air Corps deployed the long-range, heavy bomber to drop 640,000 tons of bombs over Germany and Axis-occupied territory.
As much as any weapon, the B-17 won the war. By 1944, German industry was smashed. Its cities were rubble. It softened up German defenses for D-Day and the liberation of Europe.
The brave men of the Army Air Corps paid a terrible price – 18,400 aircraft were lost and 51,000 died in the skies over Europe. For comparison, that’s more than twice the number of Marines who died in WW II.
The B-17 represented a nation that knew how to defend itself and take the battle to the enemy. It was an America that was determined and unapologetic.
It was the America of the Greatest Generation that survived the Depression, won World War II and went on to create post-war prosperity that was the wonder of the world. GDP soared from $200 billion in 1940 to $500 billion in 1960.
It was the generation of my father – who grew up in an immigrant family in a cold-water flat in Brooklyn, left school in sixth grade, served in the Second World War (in the Army Air Corps, coincidentally), and went on to own a home and business, and continue to defend his country by voting Republican.
The B-17 symbolized a nation that was proud of its past and looked forward with confidence to its future. It was an America that won the Cold War and fought for freedom all over the world.
Little wonder so many of the B-17 Generation are shell-shocked when they see what America has become.
We no longer make things. Globalists spent decades laying waste to our manufacturing base. Most of it went overseas where labor was cheap and finished products could be imported here with low tariffs. America is now a service economy, they told us. Those manufacturing jobs that were the backbone of the U.S. economy were never coming back – so get used to working in the “information sector” and stocking shelves at Walmart. Good farmland was turned into mini-malls and housing developments.
Now we’re learning the cost of relying on China to make our medicines, grow our food and manufacture the machines to keep America running. More dangerous yet, we now depend on Russia, China and other loathsome regimes to keep our lights on and our cars on the road.
Today the battle for America that the B-17s fought over Europe is played out on our southern border and in the streets of our cities. Unconditional surrender seems to be the order of the day.
B-17s flew to keep America safe and secure. Today, our air space is filled with flights transporting illegal aliens to the interior to secure Democrat power.
We don’t have to go halfway around the world to find savages – those who delight in murder and torture. Too bad Hitler didn’t have a catchy slogan like, “Aryan Lives Matter.”
In the World War II-era, cities like New York and Chicago were vibrant centers of industry, culture and entertainment.
Now, they’re playgrounds for gang members and psychopaths, and centers of drug-trafficking and homelessness.
Instead of Fiorello LaGuardia and Richard Daly, they have mayors like Bill de Blasio and Lorrie Lightfoot, who thinks juveniles commit carjackings because they’re “unloved.” FDR may have been confined to a wheelchair, but at least he wasn’t non compos mentis, like the current occupant of the White House.
The border is Dodge City on a Saturday Night. Once Title 42 is repealed in May, it’s estimated that more than 18,000 will enter America illegally not every week, but every single day. They’ll make America poorer and more dangerous – soaking up social services and straining school budgets.
When our servicemen came home at the end of World War II, many got degrees on the GI Bill. What were centers of learning for them are centers of indoctrination today. In 1941-45, the arsenal of democracy was deployed against a deadly ism that had conquered half the world., Now woke-ism has a death grip on academia. The storm troopers brought Nazism to power. Those employing the same tactics rule the campus.
The generation which flew the B-17s made heroic sacrifices to stop the global spread of totalitarianism. Generation Z whines if they’re addressed with the wrong pronouns and demands therapy for whatever upsets them.
So here we are, 77 years after the end the end of World War II. Most of the guys who risked death on Flying Fortresses have themselves flown off into the wild blue yonder.
As for those of us left who want to fight for America, our fuel is low, we’re constantly under fire and we’re looking for a place to land.
Still, better to go down in flame than surrender to a fifth column. “At ‘em boys, give ‘er the gun.”